Yorkshire – Credit Wikipedia
Although it has been widely suspected for the past couple of days, in the past few minutes Defra (UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has confirmed that the outbreak of bird flu at a Yorkshire duck farm is of the same subtype as the recent outbreaks at poultry farms in Germany and the Netherlands.
Defra has confirmed a case of avian flu in a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire.
On 16 November Defra confirmed a case of avian flu (bird flu) in a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire. The strain has now been confirmed as H5N8, which is a very low risk to human health and no risk to the food chain.
These links will provide guidance to poultry keepers and to the public.
- Defra guidance: avian influenza (bird flu): latest situation; how to spot it and report it
- Public Health England Avian influenza outbreak in Yorkshire - risk to public health extremely low
- Food Standards Agency advice: avian flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
18 November - update on cull of poultry at affected farm.
As part of our robust action in response to the confirmed case of avian flu, the culling of 6,000 ducks is underway on the affected farm in east Yorkshire .The cull is to prevent the spread of potential infection, and is being carried out in a safe and humane manner by fully trained APHA staff. Our response to this outbreak follows tried and tested procedures for dealing with avian flu outbreaks and we expect the cull to be completed later today.
Additionally, our animal health laboratory at Weybridge has confirmed that the outbreak in East Yorkshire is the H5N8 strain. The advice from the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England remains that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency have said there is no food safety risk for consumers.
Immediate action has been taken to control the outbreak including introducing a 10km restriction zone and a complete cull of all 6,000 birds on the farm to prevent any potential spread of infection.
The case confirmed on Sunday afternoon has been identified as a H5 avian flu strain and tests are being run to identify the exact strain of the disease. Public Health England have confirmed the risk to public health is extremely low and we have ruled out the H5N1 strain that is infectious for humans.
Investigations are now ongoing to discover whether the outbreak is linked to cases found in Netherlands and Germany with further test results expected over the coming days.
The UK has a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu and all action will be taken to control this outbreak to prevent a further spread of the disease.
The restriction zone bans movements of all poultry, products and waste within the area. Poultry must be housed or isolated in the zone. Bird gatherings (fairs, shows, exhibitions) are banned and game birds cannot be released.
For media enquiries only please contact Defra press office on 02072386007. For other enquiries contact the Defra Helpline: 03459 33 55 77
If anyone suspects any strain of avian influenza you must contact your nearest Animal and Plant and Health Agency (APHA) office.